F365’s summer transfer guide: Man United to Tottenham

Date published: Thursday 24th May 2018 6:55

Read parts one, two and three of our bumper summer transfer guide, including Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City…

 

Manchester United

What do they need?
‘Need’ is an interesting word, but Jose Mourinho will certainly be pushing for significant investment for Manchester United to try and bridge the gap to their neighbours. Left-back, right-back, central defender, central midfielder and someone who can play wide right and service Romelu Lukaku are all on Mourinho’s list, and he will expect the club to invest significant money to make it happen. That will necessitate a raft of squad players leaving. If you were signed by Louis van Gaal, worry.

What will they get?
The wide player will come in some shape or form. So too will the left-back, with Alex Sandro mentioned. There’s always the lingering presence of Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose in the gossip columns, but my hunch is that the former is far more likely than the latter. As for the central midfielder, people won’t stop going on about Shakhtar Donetsk’s Fred. Fred the Red – it does fit.

What’s been said?
“Over 38 games the reality is the numbers. And the reality of the numbers is between second and fifth, the difference is three, four or five points. The difference between the first and the second is a difference of 19 points. That’s the reality of the numbers. Can we close that gap in one season with a very difficult market, an absolutely difficult market? We are going to try” – Jose Mourinho, May 12.

 

Newcastle United

What do they need?
Only the small matter of desperately holding onto their manager while hoping that Mike Ashley sells the club or at least invests heavily in a squad that has been made far better than the sum of its parts by Rafael Benitez this summer. A new centre-forward – and probably two – is the priority, but both full-back positions could at least do with more competition for places and a defensive midfielder wouldn’t go amiss because Isaac Hayden isn’t good enough.

What will they get?
Craig Dawson has been linked as an experienced defensive option, and makes some sense. Persuading Chelsea to part with Kenedy would be a great deal for Newcastle, while Nicolai Jorgensen of Feyenoord is the reported transfer target. Newcastle have both done very well and very badly out of shopping in the Eredivisie. But seriously, make sure Benitez is staying first or St James’ is liable to be washed away by a sea of angry tears.

What’s been said?
“I think we will have more chances to do what we want to convince players to come here.Some of the players that are already here are young players and didn’t know the Premier League, so they will be better players next year if they continue working in the way they have been working. But at the same time you need some players with experience that they can manage these bad runs and these situations where you are panicking a little bit. If you are trying to be in the top eight, we know that we have to do this or that” – Rafael Benitez, May 7.

 

Southampton

What do they need?
The hardest question of the lot, this. Southampton survived by the skin of their teeth and yet the general feeling is that the squad contains plenty of talent. Still, there are a few notable gaps. The Sofiane Boufal experiment has failed, no Premier League club has more strikers who you would back to score between three and seven league goals next season and Virgil van Dijk’s departure left a hole as big as…well, Virgil van Dijk.

What will they get?
Mark Hughes might have a reputation as a handshake-avoiding-but-also-handshake-demanding grump, but he also enjoys a transfer window. He also doesn’t mind sticking with what he knows, which explains how Hughes has managed a meaty 11 players at more than one club. Expect Southampton to sign at least two players from Stoke this summer (my guess is Ryan Shawcross and Erik Pieters), while also moving on five or six squad players. The list of potential targets ranges from Ben Gibson to Pione Sisto – it’s going to be an interesting summer.

What’s been said?
“We want to have a dressing room of players who want to be here. That’s the most important thing. We put Pellegrino in a pretty tough space and we take responsibility for that. But we needed to make that stand and I think it was an important stand to take and we’ll learn and grow from that. But I think we also have to get back to the Southampton way of having a locker room full of players that want to be here, whatever that ambition is. And if somebody ends up being in a Champions League final like Sadio Mane, we should be proud of that and should see it as an accomplishment” – Chairman Ralph Krueger, May 15.

 

Tottenham Hotspur

What do they need?
More squad depth, and high-class replacements for those who do choose to depart to stop Mauricio Pochettino getting itchy feet. The announcement of Daniel Levy’s wage hike while Tottenham continue to pay below the odds to their best players threatened to rock the boat, but one of the club’s irreplaceables (Harry Kane, Christian Eriksen) kicking up a fuss really would. Levy must assist Pochettino’s task in taking Tottenham to the next level, and that means back-up in whichever positions Pochettino deems necessary. Replacements for Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele might be the starting point.

What will they get?
Matthijs de Ligt seems a likely fit if Alderweireld leaves, but Dembele’s departure would be more of a head-scratcher. In terms of the smattering of youth that Pochettino would like to add to his academy graduates (this year’s crop haven’t quite kicked on), take your pick from Ryan Sessegnon and James Maddison. There are also the rumours of Anthony Martial, and a wide forward would seem to a better solution than trying to by a back-up centre forward. That plan has failed twice already.

What’s been said?
“We need to talk a lot between us and the club. They have a clear idea of what we need to do and I don’t know if the club will agree with me or not but we need to talk next week to create the new project or what I think we need to do together again to try and improve. That’s a bit up to Daniel and the club to be happy with us. After four years we need to assess that period and try to be contenders and win big, big trophies.

“We need to review things. It has been fantastic all we have achieved but it will be so important to create again and create a different idea to try to move on and to be closer to win titles in the next few years. We cannot think we are the cleverest people in the world winning trophies spending small money. We need to think our reality is different. I have crazy ideas. You need to be brave” – Mauricio Pochettino, May 13.

Daniel Storey


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